Monday, 8 May 2017

Hong Kong's Unhealthy Shopping Habit

Hong Kong people's preoccupation with shopping hardly keeps them happy
Ah Greenpeace has another survey out -- this time it's about how Hong Kong people are the most obsessed in the world when it comes to shopping.

In the non-profit group's survey of 5,000 people in Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan, Italy and Germany, we scored first or second in 10 out of 12 indicators showing a tendency to spend excessively on material goods as well as an unhealthy reliance on shopping.

The questionnaire, which was conducted from the end of last year to early this year showed Hong Kong topped the charts on a number of indicators, such as admitting they owned more clothes than they needed, and consumers who had tried to conceal their shopping sprees.

Fifty-three percent of 1,000 Hong Kong people owned clothes that were still tagged, compared to 51 percent of those on the mainland, 46 percent in Italy, 41 percent in Germany, and 40 percent in Taiwan.

Numerous ads and signs entice people to shop daily
"It's nothing new that Hong Kong people are addicted to shopping, but we didn't think that Hong Kong would rank as one of the tops in the world," says Greenpeace campaigner Bonnie Tang Man-lam.

Mainland Chinese scored similar points to Hong Kong in most indicators.

While the survey didn't go into why Hong Kong scored so high, but Tang explained it was because of the city's values and lifestyle centered on consumerism.

"Most people said their feelings of satisfaction from shopping only lasted a day, and they would then shop again just to fill that empty void. The more they shop, the lonelier they got," she says.

Are Hong Kong people really that sad? Though I do know some people who really do depend on shopping to make them happy, which is a sad, endless cycle that goes nowhere except an empty bank account.

But stores like 759 are downsizing with shelves going empty
However, most people can't help but be sucked into buying things with the number of advertisements they are bombarded with daily, along with seeing what their friends are purchasing and showing off on social media.

That said, shops from luxury brands to small boutiques are downsizing or closing because it isn't economically viable anymore. My favourite greeting card shop Prints is closing down its several locations around town, while some 759 stores are gradually closing down with shelves of snacks and foods are getting barer by the day.

It's a sad state of affairs really -- shopaholics should get a life, while retailers can't make enough to pay the rent. This is Hong Kong, 2017.

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